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27.10.2021, . 09:00

Legislation and Practice of Holding Elections in the Subjects of the Russian Federation in 1993 Through 1995: Major Trends and Search for Optimal Model

In October 1993 the legal regulation of elections to the bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government in the subjects of the Russian Federation was qualitatively changed. Prior to that time local and regional elections were held in accordance with the unified procedures set forth in the Laws of the Russian Federation «On Elections of People's Deputies of Local Soviets of the People's Deputies» and «On Elections of Heads of Administrations». The election legislation which determined the procedure for holding elections in the subjects of the Russian Federation had been unified and did not take into account specific features of certain krais and oblasts in determining the method for forming representative and executive bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government. The only exception was the procedure for electing deputies of the Supreme Soviets of the republics within the Russian Federation, a bit later in a number of republics the heads of the republics (presidents) were elected in accordance with their own rules.

The reform of the election system in the subjects of the Russian Federation was started with the adoption of Edicts of the President of the Russian Federation No. 1765 «On Approval of Basic Statutes on Elections to Representative Bodies of State Power of Krai, Oblast, City of Federal Significance, Autonomous Oblast and Autonomous Okrug»2 dated 27 October 1993 and No. 1797 «On Approval of Basic Statutes on Elections to Bodies of Local Self-government» dated 29 October 1993. These Edicts of the President of the Russian Federation recommended that the bodies of state power of krais, oblasts, cities of federal significance, the autonomous oblast and autonomous okrugs (and republics to the extent it relates to elections to bodies of local self-government) adopt statutes on elections to representative bodies of state power and to bodies of local self-government with due regard to the Basic Statutes approved by these Edicts. Thus, regional power structures in Russia were for the first time granted the right to independently determine the most significant parameters of the election system in accordance with the framework regulation contained in the presidential Edicts.

Specific features of the initial stage of development of election systems in the subjects of the Russian Federation were as follows:

1. At the end of 1993 - beginning of 1994 there were no representative bodies of state power in the majority of subjects of the Russian Federation (in particular in krais and oblasts) due to the dissolution of Soviets. Due to these reasons statutes on elections were adopted mainly by heads of administrations during this period. As it is known, heads of krai and oblast administration were not elected by the population, rather, they were appointed by the President of the Russian Federation. Thus, these statutes on elections were not the product of the law-making process and due to this fact inadequately took into account positions of various social groups and regional public opinion.

2. Electoral rights of citizens were not regulated by federal laws and it was not quite clear to what extent the statutes on elections adopted by bodies of state power of the subjects of the Russian Federation might differ from the above basic statutes approved by the Edicts of the President of the Russian Federation. At the federal level there was also no adjusted effective mechanism of protection of the constitutional right of citizens to elect and to be elected.

3. Elections held in the subjects of the Russian Federation at the end of 1993 - beginning of 1994 was initiated by federal authorities. Due to this fact the major parameters of the election systems used, election political climate and the practice of carrying them out were formed under the significant influence of the September - October 1993 political crisis in Russia. Many problems and methods for their resolution were mechanically transferred from the federal level to the level of the subjects of the Federation. It is well known that the crisis of federal power and the subsequent reforms of the state system were characterized by the trend towards curtailing governmental democracy resulting in the limited participation of representative bodies in the election process organization and control over the compliance with the election legislation. Disparagement of the role of representative bodies entailed lower turnout for elections to these bodies.

Let us review the dynamics of elections in the subjects of the Russian Federation. The first «modern» experience of holding elections in the subjects of the Russian Federation was acquired in October - December 1993. Simultaneously with the election of the Federation Council and State Duma deputies elections were held:

to representative bodies of state power of the subjects of the Russian Federation in 10 regions - Altai Republic, Kabardino-Balkar Republic, Marii El Republic, Sakha (Yakutiya) Republic, Tyva Republic, Archangelsk Oblast, Volgograd Oblast, Moscow Oblast, Tula Oblast and the city of Moscow;
to bodies of local self-government in three regions, i.e. Marii El Republic, Sakha (Yakutiya) Republic and Archangelsk Oblast.

In accordance with Edict of the President of the Russian Federation No. 1723 «On Major Bases of State Power Organization in Subjects of the Russian Federation» dated 22 October 1993, elections to representative (legislative) bodies of state power of krais, oblasts, cities of federal significance, autonomous oblast and autonomous okrugs were intended to be held during the; period from December 1993 through March 1994. Elections in 56 subjects of the Russian Federation were held during this period. The greatest number of elections was held in March 1994. By May 1995 elections were held in 84 subjects of the Russian Federation. In accordance with Edict of the President of the Russian Federation No. 1760 «On Reforms of Local Self-government in the Russian Federation» dated 26 December 1993, elections to representative bodies of local self-government were to be held from December 1993 through June 1994. Later on time periods of the elections were moved to the autumn on that year.3

As it was noted above, the federal regulation of regional elections by the Edicts of the President of the Russian Federation was of a framework nature. For this reason, regional norm-making in the sphere of regulating elections and the practice of elections to bodies of state power and local self-government which emerged on its basis, reflected not only the will and intentions of federal bodies of state power but at the same time and to a greater extent positions of the leadership of the subjects of the Russian Federation. Thus, elections in the subjects of the Russian Federation held in 1993 through 1994 quite precisely characterize initial views of the leadership of regional authorities (and in particular, executive) on how elections to bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government should be held.

When determining principles of holding elections to representative bodies of state power of the subjects of the Russian Federation, first of all a number of deputies of a representative (legislative) body and the type of the election system were to be determined.

In accordance with the Statute on Major Bases of Organization and Functioning of Bodies of State Power of Krais, Oblasts, Cities of Federal Significance, Autonomous Oblast and Autonomous Okrugs of the Russian Federation During the Period of Gradual Constitutional Reform4, the composition of a representative body of state power of a krai, oblast, city of federal significance, the autonomous oblast and an autonomous okrug may not exceed 50 deputies (representatives). As a rule, the total number of deputies of a representative body varied from 20 to 45. The following Dumas have the least number of deputies: Vologda, Kostroma and Chelyabinsk Oblasts (15 deputies each), and the Duma of Koryak Autonomous Okrug consist only of 8 deputies. Such a small number of deputies in legislative bodies of the subjects of the Federation with a considerably vast territory has created problems concerning the representation of the population: many administrative and territorial units are not represented by deputies at all.

In the overwhelming majority of the subjects of the Russian Federation elections were held under the majority election system, and only in the Marii El Republic, Tyva Republic and Saratov Oblast the combined system was used in accordance with which a part (as a rule, not more than one third of deputies) of a representative body of state power was elected under the principle of proportional representation.

It is worth noting that holding elections under the combined system in the Saratov Oblast was conditioned, not in the last instance, by the fact that a part of rayons in Saratov Oblast did not have a separate single mandate district (out of 25 single mandate districts) formed within their territory. 10 deputy mandates additionally distributed within the oblast district on the basis of the system of proportional representation, allowed for smoothing out the territorial imbalance when forming majority election districts.

It is a fact that the majority election system was the typical one when holding elections at all levels in the Russian Federation. That is why the experience of using elements of proportional representation in regional elections is worth paying close attention to. As it has been noted, this experience was not widely used in 1993 - 1995. In our opinion, there are several major reasons for this:

1. In proportional elections political parties and movements are competing with each rather than individuals. At the time of holding elections the contours of a multi-party system were extremely washed out; an adequately developed legislative base for activitiesof political parties and movements at the level of the subjects of the Russian Federation was also missing.
2. The relatively small size of representative bodies of state power of the subject of the Russian Federation impeded the introduction of elements of proportional representation because for a more or less consistent implementation of familiar advantages of the proportional election system a considerably large number of deputy mandates to be distributed in accordance with the lists of electoral associations is required.
3. The outcome of the 1993 State Duma elections under the combined election system unexpected by many people led to a skeptical attitude towards a new election system of the heads of krai and oblast administrations within whose competence the resolution of an issue concerning the type of the election system rests.
4. From an organizational and technical point of view, elections under the combined election system are more difficult to hold compared to a majority one.

Nevertheless, the first experience of the introduction of the combined election system at the regional level turned out to be extremely interesting and is worth studying5 thoroughly.

Initially, Oblast Duma elections in the Saratov Oblast had been planned to be held under the majority election system (in 25 single mandate districts). However, then under public pressure the head of the oblast administration had to alter the statute on elections. The demand to introduce a combined election system in the Saratov Oblast was put forward by political parties functioning within the territory of the oblast and by State Duma deputies elected by the oblast population. As a result, the composition of the oblast Duma was increased by 10' deputies who were to be elected under the proportional system.

In total, 17 electoral associations participated in the elections. In order to register lists of candidates, they were required to collect at least 20 thousand signatures of voters residing within the oblast territory. Each electoral association was allowed to put forward a list consisting of 15 candidates. Only 9 electoral associations managed to register their lists. 6 electoral associations participated in the distribution of deputy mandates:

«For People's Power» Election Bloc which included the Communist Party, Union of Women, etc. (3 mandates);
- Agrarian Party (3 mandates);
- Union of Officers; Democratic Party of Russia, Choice of Russia; and Yabloko (one mandate each).

The application of proportional representation principles in the Saratov Oblast elections resulted in the decrease of activity of electoral associations in the majority districts. For example, the electoral associations nominated in aggregate only 12 candidates in all 25 single mandate districts and three of them were elected deputies.

Increased activity of voters was an actual positive result of the introduction of a combined election system during the oblast elections. The voter turnout - more than 37 percent of the total number of voters - was the highest in Russia in the autumn of 1994. All election participants appreciated in general the application of this election system, which was new for the oblast; to these end members of the oblast election commission, oblast Duma deputies and representatives of political parties and movements noted the following positive features of this system:

- a combined system promotes the development of a multi-party system;
- the election campaign is carried out in a more organized form when electing in accordance with the lists of electoral associations; parties are better organized, it is easier to work with them and the parties themselves «watch» each other (the oblast election commission);
it is easier to work with party lists for a new party. The transition to a majority system will be effected later on when there are individuals within the party, organization is more efficient and the financial position is more stable (a LDPR representative - a party which did not take part in the oblast elections);
- the introduction of a proportional system may be compared to the implementation of a sociological program (a «Choice of Russia» representative);
- there are 20 to 30 politicians in Saratov who set the fashion of a political campaign. Party lists created an additional opportunity for business-like people to be elected to the oblast Duma (a Republican Party representative);
- parties brought the people to elections and parties contributed to the qualitative improvement of the Duma composition (an oblast administration representative);
- political parties, which nominated candidates, are responsible for him and adhere to its position through him. A deputy bears double responsibility: both to the voters and to the party (deputy of the Saratov Oblast Duma). In this connection we would like to note that out of 14 Duma deputies working on a permanent basis the majority represents political parties.

Excessive political affiliation of the oblast Duma, especially at the initial stage of its work, was noted as a drawback of the proportional representation system. Another drawback of the application of a combined election system was the relatively high number of invalidated ballots. Out of 726,781 ballots found in ballot boxes 56,319 were recognized as invalid. In general, in our opinion the Saratov Oblast experience proves that the combined election system at a regional level under modern conditions when a multi-party system is being developed can be successfully applied.

Elections in the subjects of the Federation revealed a steady trend towards restricting electoral rights of citizens. In a number of the subjects of the Russian Federation increased age and residence qualifications not stipulated by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and federal legislation were introduced. In particular, citizens who reside in St. Petersburg for a period of study or who serve in the armed forces for an obligatory term were deprived of the right to elect deputies to the St. Petersburg City Assembly; and citizens residing within the city limits for less than 5 years were deprived of the right to be elected.

Excessive minimums of voter signatures required in order to register a candidate significantly impedes the exercise of the citizen's passive electoral right. We believe that the Basic Statutes on Elections to Representative Bodies of State Power themselves set these minimums excessively high. From an organizational point of view, it is extremely hard for candidates to collect signatures of 3 to 5 percent of voters from the total number of district voters stipulated in the Basic Statutes. Due to the small size of representative bodies of state power in many subjects of the Russian Federation, election districts turned out to bee very large in terms of voters. As a result, in St. Petersburg candidates for City Council deputies had to collect 2 thousand signatures of voters each, and in the Saratov Oblast candidates for oblast Duma deputies, 2.5 thousand signatures. In the Yamalo-Nenetsk Autonomous Okrug the minimum for signature collection was set at a level of 10 percent, which even exceeded limits established by the Basic Statutes.

Exceeding the permissible deviation from the principle of equality of election districts in terms of voters was also a serious violation of the equal electoral right in many subjects of the Russian Federation. The Basic Statute on Elections to Representative Bodies of State Power has established the limits of mutual deviation of election districts at a level of 5 to 10 percent. At the same time, the mutual deviation of 25 percent in the number of the district population was allowed in particular in Krasnodar Krai and Perm Oblast and 20 percent in Vladimir, Kostroma and Murmansk Oblasts and the city of St. Petersburg.

When establishing election districts in the subjects of the Russian Federation, the principle of obligatory accounting for administrative and territorial division was often applied. This approach contradicted Article 7 of the Basic Statutes.

Striving to ensure necessary equality of election districts without crossing administrative borders of a majority of rayons and cities of the krai, the Krasnodar Krai administration decided to hold elections of Legislative Assembly deputies in six seven mandate and one eight mandate election districts. In the Krasnoyarsk Krai two five mandate, one three mandate, five two mandate and eleven single mandate election districts were formed for elections to the Legislative Assembly. The practice of forming multi-mandate district is applied quite broadly: such districts were formed in every fifth subject of the Russian Federation. N.T. Ryabov, Chairman of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, believed that the formation of multi-mandate districts was an effective way to ease tension connected with the intent to achieve equality of districts with due regard to administrative and territorial division in terms of population.6

At the same time the practice of holding elections under the majority system with the use of multi-mandate districts revealed a number of serious drawbacks. When combining many administrative and territorial units into multi-mandate districts, the population of a majority of those territories may not be presented in the oblast representative body at all in contrast to the situation when in place of a multi-mandate district single mandate districts would have been established. In particular, voters in the city of Divnogorsk (Krasnoyarsk Krai) could elect no deputy during elections to the Legislative Assembly because the city was incorporated into a five mandate election district in which the obligatory term were deprived of the right to elect deputies to the St. Petersburg City Assembly; and citizens residing within the city limits for less than 5 years were deprived of the right to be elected.

Excessive minimums of voter signatures required in order to register a candidate significantly impedes the exercise of the citizen's passive electoral right. We believe that the Basic Statutes on Elections to Representative Bodies of State Power themselves set these minimums excessively high. From an organizational point of view, it is extremely hard for candidates to collect signatures of 3 to 5 percent of voters from the total number of district voters stipulated in the Basic Statutes. Due to the small size of representative bodies of state power in many subjects of the Russian Federation, election districts turned out to bee very large in terms of voters. As a result, in St. Petersburg candidates for City Council deputies had to collect 2 thousand signatures of voters each, and in the Saratov Oblast candidates for oblast Duma deputies, 2.5 thousand signatures. In the Yamalo-Nenetsk Autonomous Okrug the minimum for signature collection was set at a level of 10 percent, which even exceeded limits established by the Basic Statutes.

Exceeding the permissible deviation from the principle of equality of election districts in terms of voters was also a serious violation of the equal electoral right in many subjects of the Russian Federation. The Basic Statute on Elections to Representative Bodies of State Power has established the limits of mutual deviation of election districts at a level of 5 to 10 percent. At the same time, the mutual deviation of 25 percent in the number of the district population was allowed in particular in Krasnodar Krai and Perm Oblast and 20 percent in Vladimir, Kostroma and Murmansk Oblasts and the city of St. Petersburg.

When establishing election districts in the subjects of the Russian Federation, the principle of obligatory accounting for administrative and territorial division was often applied. This approach contradicted Article 7 of the Basic Statutes.

Striving to ensure necessary equality of election districts without crossing administrative borders of a majority of rayons and cities of the krai, the Krasnodar Krai administration decided to hold elections of Legislative Assembly deputies in six seven mandate and one eight mandate election districts. In the Krasnoyarsk Krai two five mandate, one three mandate, five two mandate and eleven single mandate election districts were formed for elections to the Legislative Assembly. The practice of forming multi-mandate district is applied quite broadly: such districts were formed in every fifth subject of the Russian Federation. N.T. Ryabov, Chairman of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, believed that the formation of multi-mandate districts was an effective way to ease tension connected with the intent to achieve equality of districts with due regard to administrative and territorial division in terms of population.

At the same time the practice of holding elections under the majority system with the use of multi-mandate districts revealed a number of serious drawbacks. When combining many administrative and territorial units into multi-mandate districts, the population of a majority of those territories may not be presented in the oblast representative body at all in contrast to the situation when in place of a multi-mandate district single mandate districts would have been established. In particular, voters in the city of Divnogorsk (Krasnoyarsk Krai) could elect no deputy during elections to the Legislative Assembly because the city was incorporated into a five mandate election district in which the majority of voters were the residents of the city of Krasnoyarsk. Thus, if under the majority system multi-mandate districts are formed, specific interests of different territories within the framework of the subjects of the Russian Federation are roughly smoothed over; in addition, a candidate is put at a greater distance from a voter due to the vast territory of a multi-mandate district and due to this, the election campaign becomes more intense; the choice of a candidate by a voter is complicated because of the abundance of names on the ballot; and difficulties related to filling vacant deputy mandates in multi-mandate districts veritably arise.

The said drawbacks were increased to a greater extent when multi-mandate districts with many deputy mandates were formed When considering the draft federal Law «On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights of Citizens of the Russian Federation» in the State Duma, a number of deputy factions and individual deputies persistently proposed a ban on the formation of multi-mandate districts. And though it was not reflected in the text of the adopted Law, there is a negative attitude to this idea in the society. We believe that multi-mandate districts under the majority election system should not be formed everywhere but be justified by local specific features of a particular case, and special attention should be paid to the interests of local communities. The formation of large multi-mandate election districts throughout the territory of a subject of the Russian Federation is more justified when the proportional representation system or a system of a single (separately) transferred vote are applied.

Let us review the ways of reforming unified practice of holding elections in the subjects of the Russian Federation and the major methods of resolving arising legal conflicts. The Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation played a significant role in establishing such a practice. In accordance with Article 15 of the Basic Statutes it was entitled to comment on and provide methodical recommendations in respect to holding elections. Another important circumstance was the fact that the Central Election Commission distributed funds of the federal budget allocated for holding the elections. The Commission responded to the most serious violations of the Basic Statutes in the form of drafting Commission conclusions concerning the violation of the election legislation. As the practice showed, at that time this method of interaction between bodies of state power and election commissions of the subjects of the Russian Federation brought about positive results. At the same time the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation did not have any powers concerning the rectification of provisions of the law, which had been violated that is why a considerable part of complaints concerning the violation of the electoral rights of citizens was filed with courts. In general, sufficiently active participation of judicial power in the application of norms of the election legislation was in principle a new phenomenon in the practice of holding elections in the Russian Federation. Prosecutor's supervision over the compliance with the election legislation was also exercised in the subjects of the Russian Federation. At the meeting of the State Duma on 16 March 1994 a representative of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation stated that prosecutors made 12 objections and introduced more than 10 representations and information statements in respect to violations revealed in the course of elections to the representative bodies of state power of the subjects of the Russian Federation.

In a number of cases courts responded to questions concerning the validity of the Basic Statutes on Elections to Representative Bodies of State Power and their enforceability against a legislator of a subject of the Russian Federation. Thus, in the case of appealing certain norms of the statute on elections to the Kirov Oblast Duma referring to the procedure for forming election districts, the judicial board of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation ruled that in accordance with Clause 2 of the Edict of the President of the Russian Federation on approval of the Basic Statutes, the subjects of the Russian Federation were empowered to draft and adopt the relevant statutes on elections to representative bodies of state power provided the basic statutes on elections were taken into account. Thus, the judicial board overturned the ruling of the Kirov Oblast court, which denied the satisfaction of the applicant complaint on the grounds that the Basic Statutes on Elections to Representative Bodies of State Power were recommendations rather than a binding document for the subjects of the Russian Federation.

However, in order to effectively protect the electoral rights of the citizens of the Russian Federation, federal bodies of state power were required to create a stable legislative base. This goal was achieved through the adoption of the federal Law on basic guarantees of electoral rights of the citizens of the Russian Federation. This Law is, in our opinion, the major source of the constitutional right of the Russian Federation because it fills in the gap in the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which relates to the regulation of electoral rights of citizens. The fact of the matter is that the 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation (Art. 32), in contrast to the former Constitution of 1978 which contained a special section - «Election System», very briefly determines the content of the electoral rights of the citizens of the Russian Federation without establishing democratic principles of the electoral right applicable to all elections held in the Russian Federation.10 In accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation (Clause «b», Article 71), the regulation and protection of the rights and freedoms of an individual and citizen shall be within the competence of the Russian Federation. If differences between a federal law and another act published in the Russian Federation arise, the federal law shall apply (Part 5, Article 76 of the Constitution). Thus, with the adoption of the Federal Law «On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights of Citizens of the Russian Federation» a constitutional and legislative base for the protection of the electoral rights of the citizens of the Russian Federation emerged.

At some time in 1992 and 1993 it was contemplated that both elections in the subjects of the Russian Federation and federal elections be regulated by the federal election code.» This idea was given a new push in the course of drafting election legislation in 1994. However, the unification of all dements of the election process in the subjects of the Russian Federation would then contradict the constitutional division of the sphere of competence between the Russian Federation and its subjects. That is why the framework federal regulation of elections in the subjects of the Russian Federation is the only possible form of ensuring independence of the subjects of the Russian Federation in selecting an election system and adequate norms of an election process which meet specific conditions of political, legal and social development of a subject of the Russian Federation. Codification of the election legislation is feasible at the level of a subject of the Russian Federation. For example, the first election code in Russia was adopted in the Voronezh Oblast.

At present, the system of legislation concerning elections in a subject of the Russian Federation as a rule consists of the laws on elections of the head of the executive body of state power (governor, administration head, president), on elections of the representative body of state power and on elections to the bodies of local self-government. In a number of the subjects of the Russian Federation elections on the basis of laws adopted after the enactment of the federal Law «On Basic Guarantees of Election Rights of Citizens of the Russian Federation» have been already held. These elections also revealed the trend towards the limitation of the electoral rights of citizens established by the federal Law. The most typical are the following violations:

1. The requirement concerning permanent residence of a citizen within the territory of the relevant district (precinct) as an obligatory condition in order to exercise the active electoral right (Severnaya Osetiya-Alaniya, Dagestan, Sverdlovsk and Tambov Oblasts).

2. Setting longer minimum periods of obligatory residence established by the federal Law, required in order to exercise the passive electoral right (Kalmykiya and Khakassiya).

3. Setting forth additional, not stipulated by the Federal Law, limitations concerning the exercise of the active and passive electoral right (unexpected convictions, in-clinic treatment in psychiatric hospitals, educational qualification and others).

4. Exceeding ceiling deviations established by the federal Law from the norm of representation of voters when forming election districts (Dagestan, Severnaya Osetiya, Kalmykiya and Tatarstan).

5. The introduction of the procedures for the nomination and registration of candidates which hampers the free exercise by citizens of their right to be elected by way of exceeding norms of collection of signatures in support of the candidate established by the federal Law (up to 10 percent in Dagestan) or otherwise. The Law of the Kalmykiya Republic on election of People's Khural (Parliament) deputies establishes that one-third of the Parliament deputies are elected in the all-republican multi-mandate district and the right to nominate candidates in this district is granted only to the President of the Kalmykiya Republic. Such an approach makes the right of a citizen to be elected to the body of state power completely dependent not on the support of voters but on the will of an official.

6. An opportunity is established to hold elections on a non-alternative basis. Such an example is the Law on elections of the President of the Kalmykiya Republic.

Finally, the practice of holding elections to bodies of state power of the subjects of the Russian Federation proved that at present the federal legislative regulation and control of the compliance with the electoral rights of citizens on behalf of the federal bodies of state power are required in order to hold free and democratic elections in the subjects of the Russian Federation. It allows for the constraint of steady negative trends experienced lately, which relate to limiting the electoral rights of citizens in the election legislation of the subjects of the Russian Federation and organizing the election process at a regional level.

The use of one of another election system (majority, proportional, combined; based on single or multi-mandate districts) when holding elections to representative bodies in the subjects of the Russian Federation shall be determined based exclusively on the specific features of the region and shall take into account interests not only a majority of the population of the subject of the Russian Federation but also the interests of the population of its separate territories. This will allow for the increase in the level of representation of the population in the elected body, move deputies closer to voters and as a result decrease alienation of citizens from power.







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